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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tonight in Music: Mariee Sioux, Spellcaster,

Posted by Ethan Jayne on Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 10:00 AM

MARIEE SIOUX, SALT MINDS, DENVER, ALINA HARDIN (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The haunting music of Mariee Sioux comes from Nevada City, California—hometown of Joanna Newsom and Alela Diane—and while her sound is just as delicate and elemental as theirs, it holds even more ghosts inside it. Sioux's 2007 album Faces in the Rocks is driven by whispering acoustic guitar and mandolin, and ornamented by the shivering Native American flute of Gentle Thunder, sounding as ancient as a canyon wind. Coupled with some unconventional production effects and Sioux's complex vocal arrangements—the standard voice-and-guitar album this is not—it has the cumulative effect of the sensation of being able to view a broad landscape over the course of thousands of years. Also on the bill is Alina Hardin, a fellow Nevada City native who, when she's not singing with Alela Diane, performs duskily gorgeous songs that prove she's an exceptional singer/songwriter in her own right. NED LANNAMANN

HEXEN, RATTLEHEAD, SPELLCASTER, EXCRUCIATOR, CEMETERY LUST, EXTRACTOR (Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) This show is a six-sided Rubik's Cube of thrash, but instead of twisting your mind and frustrating you, it will twist your neck and pulverize you. Each of the half-dozen bands on the bill represents a different side of the ripping subgenre. Extractor are the warmongers of the group; their militarized lyrics and intricate riffs would fit right into a sweaty Rambo montage. Alongside them are the necromancers of Cemetery Lust. These local ghouls deliver highly offensive death-thrash that would make the Mentors squeamish. Let us not forget another one of Portland's gems, Spellcaster—these boys (only one of them clocks in over 21) bring epic-power thrash to the cube. The band recently found itself signed to Heavy Artillery Records, thus making this 29-year-old feel very pitiful and unaccomplished. ARIS WALES

QUITZOW, SETTING SUN, JEN MOON (The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Erica Quitzow's solo music under the name Quitzow is club-ready, electric dance-pop that stands markedly away from her work as a classical violinist and cellist. She's also a member of Setting Sun, the musical project of fellow upstate New Yorker Gary Levitt, which is polished and produced studio pop with plenty of overdubs and a sound that's not too far away from the more overly cooked of Elliott Smith's later studio concoctions, albeit noticeably cheerier. Both Setting Sun and Quitzow have new records out on Young Love Records, and it's admirable how stylistically different they are despite sharing band members, even if both records sound a little sterile in their own carefully prepared ways—something that should hopefully not be the case in the live setting. NL

The Watson Twins coming up after the jump!

As always, you can find our complete live show listings here.

THE WATSON TWINS, FERRABY LIONHEART (Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) I liked the Watson Twins back when they were just a regular ol' country act. There was something sincere and charming about a sister act playing stripped-down country music. But in their new album, Talking to You, Talking to Me, the twins are branching out into sounds that never before appeared in their music—"Modern Man" and "U-N-Me" have folk touches, but there are some vocal flourishes that sound more like '80s ballads, a kind of Hall and Oates harmony. It's not always pretty when roots acts try to spiff up their repertoire—Gillian Welch, to me, died the day she came out with Time (the Revelator)—but the '80s touches work on Talking to You, partly because they meld that artificiality together with the Twins' early sincerity (while avoiding synthesizers) to make something that doesn't betray their roots. PAUL CONSTANT

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